SC Episcopal Schism: The Appeal

NATIONAL EPISCOPAL CHURCH TAKES AIM AT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM …  || By FITSNEWS || A major victory for religious freedom was secured last month in South Carolina – which is ground zero in the schism between the uber-liberal national Episcopal Church (TEC) and conservative regional dioceses all across the country. In a lengthy…


|| By FITSNEWS || A major victory for religious freedom was secured last month in South Carolina – which is ground zero in the schism between the uber-liberal national Episcopal Church (TEC) and conservative regional dioceses all across the country.

In a lengthy and extremely well-reasoned ruling, S.C. circuit court judge Diane Goodstein ruled that members of a breakaway Lowcountry, S.C. diocese had the right to decide for themselves how they wished to worship.

“With the freedom to associate goes its corollary, the freedom to disassociate,” she ruled.

Indeed …

In late 2012 FITS broke the story of “rogue Bishop” Mark Lawrence of Charleston, S.C. – the Episcopal priest who was booted from the national church for refusing to adopt its views on gay marriage and the ordination of gay and female clergy.  In response to his excommunication, Lawrence announced his intention to disassociate South Carolina’s Lower Diocese from the national church – a threat he made good on.

Now the notoriously litigious national church is appealing Goodstein’s ruling – seeking to block the diocese from using the Episcopalian name (and seeking to recover an estimated $500-800 million in assets).  Not only that, TEC attorneys are insisting on bypassing the state’s appeals court and having their arguments heard directly by the S.C. Supreme Court.

The national church has been laying the groundwork for this appeal for some time – accusing Goodstein of irrational behavior from the bench in the months leading up to her ruling.

Leading the fight on behalf of the breakaway diocese?  Among others, S.C. Senator Tom Davis – one of the state’s foremost advocates for individual liberty.

From the beginning of this fight we (like Goodstein) have supported the right of individual congregations to decide for themselves how they wish to worship.

We applaud Goodstein’s ruling … and hope the left-leaning Supreme Court upholds it.

“If a simple majority of a church’s members determines it wishes to enter or leave a specific denomination, then it should be permitted to do so,” we wrote recently.

Same goes for the issue of gay marriage or for the ordination of gay clergy, as far as we’re concerned …


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sparklecity March 25, 2015 at 11:47 am

Hey, Baptists have been doing that since there were well, Baptists……………………
You don’t like what’s going on, go down the road and start another church.
That’s been a quip ever since I can remember

Jan March 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

The Baptist Church is congregational, not hierarchical. The Roman Catholic church, for example is hierarchical.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm

And that, the congregational nature of the Baptist faith, is the single best reason to be a Baptist. If the preacher comes out in support of something the congregant or the congregation finds to be not in keeping with their understanding of the Gospel, he can be fired or they can walk. The Baptist Association can disassociate a church if it “goes rogue” and the individual church can drop out if they choose. Perry Noble’s New Spring Church up in Greenville has been put on notice over Noble’s rather interesting (and woefully theologically weak) take on the Ten Commandments.

Baptist Churches own their own facilities because of their relationship to the association

Guest March 25, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Colonel, could you further explain Noble’s weak take on the commandments? I thought Noble was independent of any Protestant sect? Referring to themselves as a Charismatic church.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Noble is mostly talk and little real substance. They started as a member of the SC Baptist Association. I’ll share a link that has more detail than you really want but better explains the issue.

Yelsewh March 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Amen to that.

shifty henry March 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

A minister was called to a meeting of the elders and told that his contract wouldn’t be renewed. Surprised
almost beyond belief, the minister asked, “Didn’t I glorify? Didn’t I magnify? Didn’t I speechify?”

The elder said, “You didn’t ‘wherein’ and we need a minister who can ‘wherin.’

Jan March 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm

“And that, the congregational nature of the Baptist faith, is the single best reason to be a Baptist.”

Exactly Colonel, as Christ so famously said to his Disciples. “I am the way, the truth and the light unless 7 of you disagree.”

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm

I realize you’re being sarcastic (at least I think you are) but the New Testament church looked a lot more like Free Will Independent Baptist Church and a lot less like the Vatican.

Jan March 26, 2015 at 11:39 am

Which is why Constantine assembled the Council of Nicaea. To end the anarchy within the Church and come up with a consistent statement of of Christian beliefs.

The Colonel March 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

The First Council of Nicaea had four stated purposes –

1 – establish the nature of the Christ, was he part of God or a separate being and was he coexistent from the beginning or a creation after the beginning.

2 – Set the date for Easter, They had used a rather confusing Jewish calendar that shifted the date back and forth.

3 – begin the establishment of a common creed

4 – establish some church laws to protect the church from suspicion and to establish rules for the form of worship

The real unstated purpose was to establish the hierarchy of the church with Constantine as the head.

The evidence of the failure of the First Council was the need for at least 21 more (the last was Vatican II) to settle issues that man injected into religion. Peter was not the “First Pope”, he was a disciple who followed the admonition of the Christ in Matthew 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. I suspect that the simple fisherman would be dismayed at was has occurred since his crucifixion.

The Colonel March 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm

The First Council of Nicaea had four “stated purposes”:
1 – Set the date for Easter
2 – determine the nature of the Christ (was he there from the beginning and thus a co-equal to God or a created being and then “below” God in the hierarchy)
3 – publish some canon law to protect the church’s reputation and set the form for worship
4 – begin work on a common set of beliefs (the creed)

The unstated purpose was to establish a hierarchy within the church with Constantine as it’s head.

St Peter was not the “first Pope”, in fact I believe the “simple fisherman” would be dismayed at what has been built on his “foundation”.

Judas Priest March 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

What’s the going price for a disciple? Judas took thirty pieces of silver, is that a fair average?

Yelsewh March 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm

That’s well and good unless the congregation is full of idiots and/or the pastor bullies the smart ones into leaving… like NewSpring. In those situations you’re left with the blind leading the blind.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm

This is a discussion for another web site but you are correct. When I teach Sunday School, I will periodically drag out the old tired Baptist Faith and Message to review what it is we believe as Southern Baptists. Then I challenge the class that if their beliefs don’t line up with those ideas then they need to start looking elsewhere because “Church” is not buildings and programs, it’s an opportunity for corporate worship of the living God.

This is the Baptist Faith and Message:

Rocky March 25, 2015 at 11:54 am

I saw a dyke at Mass on Sunday. She even was greeted afterwards by the Priest. Thank you Pope Francis.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Christians welcome all sinners…and we pray you repent…for the sake of your soul…

We’re not like the Democrat Party – that hates those who do not wash themselves in your dangerous ideology…

Yelsewh March 25, 2015 at 11:55 am

Will claims to be a Presbyterian turned Lutheran yet his comments show that he doesn’t understand his own church’s polity. He’d probably be more comfortable as a Baptist.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Religious BIGOT Much…???

For all the crap FITS gets wrong…I’m amazed at how RIGHT he is – so far – on this…

It’s like someone pulled out his brain, and put an adequate brain in his head…

Yelsewh March 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm

How is it bigotry to point out that various Christian denominations govern themselves differently? Will’s comments about 51% wanting this or that leads me to believe that he’d rather be in a Baptist or non denominational church where control is 100% local.

Jack March 25, 2015 at 12:16 pm

GT is incapable of understanding the words you are using. That is a good thing. It shows you are writing above a third grade level.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

The right to practice true Christianity – 1

Greedy Gay, Church-Bullying Lobbyists – 0

FastEddy23 March 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

“… S.C. circuit court judge Dianne Goodstein …”

Remember that one. She may come in handy when SC g’ment trys to change your school books … :>)

“First, you gotta find the right judge …”

Manray9 March 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm

“If a simple majority of a church’s members determines it wishes to enter or leave a specific denomination, then it should be permitted to do so” sounds good — in a vacuum. But here’s a question: if the national organization contributed significantly to the acquisition of assets claimed by the SC church, shouldn’t they have their property rights protected? Say the national church helped fund dozens of churches and other establishments throughout the state, now the schismatics want to take over those properties — is that fair and legal?

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Yes, it is, the “schismatics” actually paid for the facilities, the “mother church” just fronted the money or guaranteed the loan in most cases. Additionally, the “mother church” has taken a stance so at odds with their previous position that the schismatics have no option but to separate if they wish to hold true to their beliefs – it is the “mother church” that has deviated from the norm, not the “schismatics”.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Actually this response is nonsense. Most of the things at issue have been paid for through donations by thousands of Episcopalians over hundreds of years. The current occupants of the buildings and facilities paid virtually none of the cost. In fact the Lawrencians changed the bylaws of the Diocese to exclude persons who had not attended services for a few years from the vote. Many of those excluded were older persons who could no longer attend services but who contributed to the church for years, and persons who had moved away but intended to return to their family parish one day, or who just were not currently attending church, but were making contributions to its support. Further a good number of the older families, who contributed a lot of the money have moved to the Parishes who remained in the Episcopal Church.

Is the break up a bad thing, I am ambivalent on that issue at this point. The remaining loyal Episcopalians in the low country have banded together. A number of parishes did not leave the Church, and their membership is growing more rapidly than the Diocese has grown in years; and new Parishes, have been formed by those persons forced to leave their old parishes. Also Lawrence is a bit of a prima donna, prone to exaggeration; and more people are beginning to realize that.

Finally, I do not agree with you that the church has taken a stance so at odds with their previous position that the Lawrencians had to leave. Churches are not stagnant. An understanding of God’s will changes as information becomes available. Examp. The sun does not revolve around the earth and it is not heresy to say so. Of course if you said that to the leaders of the Church 500 years ago you would likely be burned at the stake.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm

You can make the case that many of the parishioners who paid the bills have moved on but in doing so they conveyed their rights to the current members – that is the nature of this type of association.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Or you can argue that the parishioners who paid the bills and have moved on expected the property their contributions paid for would continue to be used by the Episcopal Church as a place of worship for its future members. As a person who contributes regularly that is what I have always thought; Until now, at least. My education has come at great temporary cost to my parish, as I try to work out exactly who I am giving money to, and how I can assure I benefit who I am intending to benefit. Fortunately, since I am in the Diocese of Upper SC, my charitable goals have not be thwarted yet, and hopefully will never be. .

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Once again, a strong argument for congregational church organizations

Mary March 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm

And a strong argument against being a member of a congregational church, unless you are content to hand your money over to a bunch of local yokels, to do with as they please. I am not interested in benefiting the Priest du jour and his followers.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 2:14 pm

maybe you ought to try a different church. at my church the members approve the budget.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm

The same is true for my parish. But I am not interested in helping pay for a facility that may end up in the hands of group of people,like Lawrence and his followers, who are not even members of my church, and who do not believe as I do. If they had bought the property, I would have no problem. The money they paid would have gone to the Episcopal church where I intended for it to go. But they took the property, and now those people who paid for the property have made a contribution to Lawrence and his church. Even thought that was not their intent..

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

You’d find a comfortable place in most Baptist churches.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

No I would not. For one thing I don’t believe there were dinosaurs on Noah’s ark and I don’t believe drinking and dancing are sins.

What happened with Lawrence is exactly what could happen in a Baptist Church. The local yokels decide, hey lets be Wiccans. They get 51% of the people who are current members to agree, including people who joined last week, and you go along or get kicked out. All of your past contributions are for naught.

You have obviously never been a member of a National Church. I am member of the Episcopal Church. I can go anywhere in the country and within reason can expect the rules to be the same, the teachings to be the same, the ceremony to be the same or similar (depending on whether it is Anglo Catholic or Evangelical). I thought I could give money and expect it would be used for the purposes of the National Episcopal Church. I would not want to be in a Church were 51% of a local congregation can change all the rules. That is what Lawrence did, and everyone who did not agree with him and 51% of the current members were forced to leave or join the Church of Lawrence.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm

“…No I would not. For one thing I don’t believe there were dinosaurs on Noah’s ark and I don’t believe drinking and dancing are sins…”

Neither do most Baptists, welcome to the New World.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I am well aware of the new world. My mothers family are all Baptists. Almost all Baptist congregations are fundamentalists.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Yes, by definition, Baptists are fundamentalist but I challenge you to find any main stream Baptist doctrine outlawing dancing or for that matter drinking. Now we do believe in moderation in all things and that if my actions cause a brother to sin then I shouldn’t do them – however, we didn’t make that up, we just try to live up to it.

Some churches require deacons to abstain from drinking while they are actively serving as a deacon (mine does) but I don’t remember the last time I heard a lesson on “the evils of dancing”.

Tom March 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Why don’t Baptists have sex standing up? Because someone might think they are dancing.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm

We don’t dance because dancing is a vertical position with a horizontal climax. Actually, I’m a fairly strict Baptist and I was dancing Friday night with a couple of deacons and their wives.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Colonel, as a Baptist, is the New Testament in Timeline order? When was it written? What differentiates a Baptist from say a Catholic? Why did the religion change?

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Google Martin Luther to understand why Christians have different sects (he wasn’t the first, just the best known)

Yes, the New Testament is chronological in events but probably not in writing. James is probably the oldest book, followed by Galatians and Mark. The Old Testament is grouped into prophets, law, history and poetry and is not in chronological order. (With the exception of the Pentatuch, the first five books)

Catholics require intervention not mentioned in the Bible and follow a doctrine that includes ceremony that does not appear in the Bible. Their Bible has a few extra books as well.
Baptists believe in the priesthood of the believer which in anathema to Catholics.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Chronological in “events” but not based on when they were written. They are put in order as a bridge from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

Why do Catholics have a few extra books? How was the New Testament formed?

When was the New Testament written as it relates to Jesus?

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 11:42 pm

There is no bridge between the Old and New Testament. There is a silent period of about 400 years between the events of Malachi and Matthew.

Catholics added and withdrew several books at the Council of Trent in 1546. The post Reformation Protestant Bible was set about 1560. Protestants dropped anything not consistent with the previously accepted cannon. The discussion for why one book was kept and another cast aside could go on for days. I’d suggest a few books, “God’s Secretaries” about the writing of the King James Bible and “The Canon Of Scripture”.

As for the New Testament, we think Paul’s letters were the first things actually written down in roughly 45-50 AD (or CE if you insist) but the Gospel of Mark was probably the first of the gospels in 60. Most of the New Testament can be reliably dated to before 100.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 11:59 pm

First, define Protestants. Initially, Catholics were not Protestants. Who were they (protestants)? When did it begin (Church Of England)? What branch of the tree did baptist fall from? Paul?

I agree with in regard to Paul’s letters, but in no way agree they were New Testament B.C. If that is the case, I went to a VERY liberal college in a VERY conservative town, that was taught by a Baptist.

There is an interesting website, and I am not a liberal, but find a lot of truth there:

I will say this, if you are happy with your beliefs and not seeking to destroy them, don’t go there. Sometimes Ignorance is bliss, I wish I still had that luxury. In the literal sense, no sarcasm intended.

Mary Quite Contrary March 26, 2015 at 12:01 am

lastly 100 what? b.c. or a.d? If A.D. then we might agree, but no way B.C., if so, please show me.

The Colonel March 26, 2015 at 7:54 am

Generally, when New Testament events are referenced you can assume (CE or) AD. Almost all off the New Testament was finished before 150 CE. We know this because some of the actual letters exist to that date (a early copy of John dates roughly, 100 CE)

Mary Quite Contrary March 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

150 years CE is a long time after the fact to recall events. To piece together information that was handed by word of mouth. How much could have been lost in translation? The simple word love can be translated so many different ways.

The Colonel March 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Jewish oral tradition covered 4,000 years or more.

However, there isn’t evidence that it wasn’t written down earlier, just that we don’t have the records. Papyrus carefully preserved can last a very long time and we stumble across new materials all the time. That said, poorly stored, it disentegrates rapidly.

Google Ryland’s Papyrus 52 and you’ll get a better idea about the nature of the effort to get to “primary sources” for the New Testament. I have written extensively about this tiny scrap of papyrus – here’s an excerpt:
Today’s countdown count comes to you from 52 – Ryland’s Papyrus 52

Okay, you’re probably wondering what the heck you’re looking at. Looks like an old piece of paper with bad handwriting on it right?

Well it is old. In fact, it is very old, somewhere around 1,850 years. The age is determined by comparing the form of the script with documents of a known date and on that basis, this document was most likely written between 100 and 150 AD (or CE for the “scientific” among you). The handwriting isn’t that great, as in it is not that of a professional scribe, but of a learned man, writing carefully as if copying another document. The basis for the assertion that it wasn’t a scribe who wrote the text is the heavy rounded nature of the script.

What you are looking at is part of a group of documents found in Egypt in 1920 by a man named Bernard Grenfell. Mr. Grenfell was an Egyptologist, scientist and member of The Queens College at Oxford. In 1934, a gentleman named Colin Roberts translated the document from the Greek and discovered it was from the Gospel of John, specifically John 18:31-33 (front) and 37-38 (back)
Here are the words he had to work with:

The front:
…the Jews To us…no one,” so that the word…he said signifying…to die. Entered…Praetorium Pilate… and said…Jews? …

The back:
This… have been born….world so that I should testify…of the truth…Says to him…and this…the Jews nothing

Mr. Collins translations appear below. The [bracketed] words are the words that actually appear on the fragment. The text is the complete verse translated from Greek.
The front translates:

…[the Jews, “To us] it is lawful to kill [no one,” so that the word] of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he [said signifying] by what sort of death he was about [to die. Entered] again into the [Praetorium Pilate] and called Jesus and said] to him, “Are you king of the [Jews? ]…

You would likely be more familiar with this wording:
John 18:31-33… “But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected. This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled. Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

The back translates:
… a King I am. I for [this have been born]
…and (for this) I have come into the [world so that I should testify] to the truth. Everyone being of the truth hears my voice. [Says to him] Pilate, “What is truth?” [and this] saying, again he went out [to the Jews] and says to them, “I [nothing] find in him a case.”

Again, you’re probably more familiar with this version:
John 18:37-38…”You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.

So, we have a fragment of a Gospel, written in Greek , dated to around 125 AD. Some other things about the fragment make it remarkable. It was written in a codex format – what you and I would recognize as a book vice the more traditional scroll. Scrolls were the common practice in Israel among Jews. Codex’s were common among Christians. The spacing of the words between the front and back page and the number and size of page fragments indicate that the codex contained the entire Gospel of John. The translation through Greek to the New International Version is solid indicating that the version of the Gospels we use today is accurate.

Here is the written record of a Jew named Jesus confronting a Ruler named Pilate. It was apparently copied from another text in Egypt (papyrus was the common writing medium there). Reliable dating indicates it to have been written before 150 AD and probably within 100 years of the death of Jesus. Even a skeptic would agree that the translation is accurate to our modern Bible based on the verse by verse comparison. Remarkable.

As I studied this I became aware of an even more remarkable thing. In 1934, a man looked at a scrap of dusty old swamp reed pounded flat then woven into a sheet (that’s how papyrus is made). He recognized and translated 42 words of Greek written on them. Without any other context, he realized those 24 words were verses from the Gospel of John. Think about that for a minute – he knew his bible well enough that he recognized a passage from the Bible translated across two languages and nearly two millennium. Remarkable – I wish I knew my NASB version that well.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The Bible you have is a true account of his life, death and resurrection. The Gospel of John was written by an eyewitness to the life of Jesus and we know that the translation we use today matches the version in use within 100 years of the resurrection – Remarkable.

Mary Quite Contrary March 26, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Thanks Colonel, let me look up some of what you have said. The 1934 papyrus is very interesting and I am familiar with how it is made, but have not read that.

You are true gentleman. Thanks for sharing you knowledge.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Martin Luther is an example of all that I have said. He rejected teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It can be argued, he created, branched off, into his own religion.

William March 25, 2015 at 8:07 pm

A little over your head their Colonel. Catholics can pray directly to god. They do not need an intercessor. Your baptist education and prejudice is showing..


And the Catholics do not have additional books of the Bible. If you are speaking of the books of the Apocrypha, they are not part of the Bible.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 11:16 pm

Okay, let’s approach it this way.

Catholics pray through Saints and the Virgin Mary for intercession. Baptists don’t, we don’t revere them in the same manner that Catholics do. However, the intervention I am referring to is also found in confession, extreme union, penance and infant baptism.

Catholics consider the Deuterocanonical texts Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, parts of Esther and parts of Daniel part of the 73 books of the “Catholic Bible” – the protestant Bible has 66 books.

Catholics adhere to the concept of magisterium, granting the Pope and the church hierarchy authority no Baptist would accept. The Papal Bull is an example of this.

Real Protestants are Sola Scriptura and give no weight to “church tradition”, Catholics embrace tradition as a part of their dogma.

Protestants believe in salvation by grace through faith. Catholics view justification as a process, dependent on the grace you receive by participating in the Church.

Protestants believe in a cracker and some juice as a symbolic remembrance, Catholics believe the wafer and wine are converted to actual flesh and blood through a process called transubstantiation.

Protestants believe in the priesthood of the believer, Catholics believe in priesthood through the hierarchy of the church.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 11:36 pm

I am glad you found time to respond, so that we may continue this journey. Catholicism is the oldest “protestant” religion alive. Whether I agree with their beliefs or not, it is history.

The Catholic Church had it’s own army, they were a force of knights to be reckoned with.

I am not Catholic, but it is the oldest and the tree which all new branches of protestants grow.

The reason they have additional books/chapters in their Bible goes back to how the New Testament was formed. The New Testament was not written until long after Jesus died. Some 40-50 years. The people who knew him best were getting old, he was already dead, so they wanted to document his philosophy/religion.

They had what we might call a board of directors, those in the know. People presented books to be added. Some of those books were rejected, we are dealing with humans who are prone to err.

The books were read by the aforementioned board, and voted on. It was there, that chapters, stories, books, whatever you want to call them, were voted on and added based on what the board deemed true.

Some of the stories know as the “additional” book/chapters are called the Apocrypha.

They were not accepted in the New Testament, mostly because they demonstrated Jesus doing something self serving. For example, one that comes to mind, and I am paraphrasing, was Jesus built a rainbow to get to the roof of a house for personal reasons. That was omitted from the New Testament, as were many other writers of the time. The Catholic Church adopted some of those book/chapters that the so called Board refused to admit.

You can call it discernment or you can take it at face value. Each person, more than four decades AFTER Jesus died had a different recollection, different views they wanted to pass on for reasons we don’t really know.

I call the New Testament, The Jesus Philosophy, which is all second hand. What did he ever write? What happened during that 30 something missing years?
It can be a good way to live your life.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 11:49 pm

The name Catholic means “universal” and at this juncture in history I would argue that it is neither universal nor is it “the oldest Protestant religion”. In fact, by definition it is not “protestant” as the definition of protestant is “…any of the Western Christian churches that are separate from the Roman Catholic Church and follow the principles of the Reformation, including the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches…”

Mary Quite Contrary March 26, 2015 at 12:05 am

In this respect we agree – I don’t view them as protestant either, but look anywhere and that is the category they fall in. The Roman Catholic Church, which I respect, but they were … ruthless.

Had they not have been so dogmatic, and yes they have changed over time, but let’s assume they were not so dogmatic – how many lives would have been saved? How many cruelties were committed under that religious umbrella? One only need to look back to England for that answer.

Why did people flee to America (as we know it today)?

Mary Quite Contrary March 26, 2015 at 12:08 am

Very interesting conversation, I would like to continue, not for the sake of debate, though that is how I take in information, but for the sake of seeing the opposite side of a coin.

I have to retire, I am going to be tired already. Thank you, for taking the time to respond.

Please continue and I will respond as I have time. I love the exchange of ideas/beliefs and am always open to learning new things.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:17 pm

and no, I am not the “other” Mary posting on this site.

Christian thing to do March 25, 2015 at 2:14 pm

All of this nonsense is a waste of time. If you want to be a good Christian, be good to your neighbor, help the homeless, comfort the sick, protect the weak. None of this requires churches or pastors.

Manray9 March 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm

I have no interest in religious squabbles, the question posed above just occurred to me after reading this, and previous, articles on FitsNews. So you know as fact that the national church has no financial interest in assets claimed by the SC church?

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Just the opposite, the national church has an interest. The question is how much and how much control does that give them. The first ruling basically says “none”. I don’t know that I completely agree on the issue of the “financial interest” but on “control”, I come from a tradition that says the local body of believers has that authority.

Manray9 March 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Maybe the SC church could simply buy out the interests of the national group and go on their merry way?

Mary March 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

They don’t have to. They won the law suit they filed, unless the National Church prevails on appeal.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm

That is probably what will ultimately happen. The national church’s membership is shrinking and their coffers are equally shrunken. The church has responded with gay clergy, gay marriage and pet funerals. They’re not alone, church attendance is down in most denominations and a lot are looking at fringe liberalization of their traditional values.

Meanwhile, studies show that many are looking for a return to traditional values and religious forms.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 12:45 pm

“With the freedom to associate goes its corollary, the freedom to disassociate,”

1960 Woolworth’s lunch counter on line 1 Judge Goodstein.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Interesting argument – however, Woolworth’s was a place of public accommodation and is governed by different rules.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm

So a church isn’t a place of “public accommodation”?


Btw, I’m all for “freedom of association”, I’m just stirring the pot.(rightfully)

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

oddly enough, no it’s not a place of public relation because of a little thing called the separation of church and state

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm

“no it’s not a place of public relation because of a little thing called the separation of church and state”

Ok, I’m going to suggest that separation between church and state has nothing to do with “public relation”, or accommodation as you put it.

Also, if there was truly this separation between church and state then why is this church matter being solved in a state court?

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm

sorry for the typo it should read accommodations. I’m using talk to text and my accent doesn’t always translate well. you asked another good question, why is the courts getting involved in the church matters. The answer is because real property is involved.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm

“The answer is because real property is involved.”

Just like Woolworth’s…..


The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Woolworth was about egg salad sandwiches not wine and crackers

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm

lmao! Nice obfuscation, especially because it made me laugh, but deep down inside I know you know what I’m driving towards…private property rights.

Freedom means having to live with assholes if they aren’t hurting you/your property…including racist assholes.

When we make assholery illegal we all go to jail at some time.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:41 pm

I agree that the legal issue here is about property but in the case of Woolworth, it really was about commerce or “public accommodation”. 9:00 am Sunday morning has (often wrongly) been described as the midst segregated hour of the week.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Yea, I think you and I disagree about the “public accommodation” thing.

I see a church the same way I see Woolworth’s front counter.

In fact, I’d bet you $10 and a beer(or hard cider because gluten fucks me up) that if a church started turning away people at the door due to race that you’d get the same exact ruling as Woolworth’s….negating your whole argument.


The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

I disagree and one need only look at some of our lily white (or all black) churches as evidence.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm

lol…no one’s brought a suit yet though.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Operative word – yet.

Victorious Secret March 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

The courts have clearly laid out the differences between race and sexual orientation, as it pertains to one’s status as a protected class or not.

Granted, this may very well change soon. But the law, as it is today, says otherwise

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm

“Granted, this may very well change soon. ”

Logically, it would seem to have to eventually.

James March 25, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Actually Lawrence made the argument the Church’s property was subject to state law, not Church law; which cuts totally against the argument the church is not a place of public accommodation.

Bible Thumper March 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm

I don’t believe anyone is denied entry to the church. Gay’s are denied ordination. Woolworths can’t refuse to hire a Muslim, but a church can refuse ordination to a Muslim.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Well, the argument was the “right of association” as to the answer of the private property issue….(per Judge Goodstein)

Victorious Secret March 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm


“Separation of Church and State” is just a fun way to describe the two key elements pertaining to religion found within the 1st Amendment; (1) the Free Exercise Clause, and (2) the Establishment Clause. In fact, the word “church” is not found in the actual text of the U.S. Constitution.

Nothing in the first amendment (or the entire U.S. Constitution, for that matter) states that the judicial branch is estopped from exercising its powers over a case or controversy involving a religious institution.

Following your reasoning, we would never hear any case regarding anything to do with religion (i.e. the Ten Commandments). This is clearly not so.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

“Free exercise” is what has prevented the courts from addressing what goes on inside the building – for now.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Precisely….that’s my whole point about the “suit” issue. It’d be fascinating to see a church make as outward policy the practice of disallowing white or blacks and then suit the subsequent suit.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

*see the subsequent

Victorious Secret March 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Interesting point….although I’m sure someday something odd will happen; religion is one of those things that typically doesn’t garner a desire to join unless one has similar views with the crowd…at least on major issues.

As such, it would seem odd that a black person would sue to gain entry into a “church–if you will” full of people who religiously believe that blacks cannot be included in their church.

Or conversely, that a white person would sue a black church because this person is disallowed entry.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

“Interesting point”

Thank you, I can’t take full credit though. HT to Murray Rothbard, Hans Hoppe, Walter Block & a few others.

Victorious Secret March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Agreed. Freedumb was attempting to argue that the court has no business in the matter at hand because of “Separation of Church and State.”

This is not so.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

“Freedumb was attempting to argue that the court has no business in the matter at hand”

Actually, no I wasn’t. Go back and re-read. I’m merely probing the assertion of “separation”.

Victorious Secret March 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm


You state, “[a]lso, if there was truly this separation between church and state then why is this church matter being solved in a state court?”

I’m not sure how to interpret that other than how I did.

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Look at it from the perspective of probing. Our discussion is in relation to “freedom of association” in that was part of the basis of the Judge’s ruling.

I never suggested the court “has no business”, I was arguing that the Colonel’s point doesn’t seem to hold water that it doesn’t due to separation between church and state.

Victorious Secret March 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Fair enough. This thread is jumbled–and no longer in sequence–at this point. It is becoming difficult to follow.

Good discussion though

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I introduced the “separation” argument, one of the worst abuses of a private conversation in history.

Not A Lawyer March 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

The fight is over tangible assets and the use of the name Episcopal. It has nothing to do with the church itself…they have already broken away. Separation doesn’t matter in this case. That is if I’m understanding correctly.

shay March 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

You’re right – the local congregation wanted to keep the physical assets and real estate, which the national church also claimed. Nothing to do with “freedom”

Freedumb March 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm

“Nothing to do with “freedom””

Not according to the ruling judge…”freedom of association”, her words…not mine.

Better Call Saul March 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Nothing says Christians helping the needy like escalating lawsuits over gay marriage.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

It’s not the Christians “escalating lawsuits”….It’s the liberals…Dumb@$$…

James McGill March 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Church A sues Church B, Christians eating Christians, don’t blame me for pointing it out

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

When you condone and perform Gay marriage ceremonies…you have LEFT the Christian Church…and it looks like they are now Greedily trying to take the Christians’ assets, too…

No True Scotsman March 25, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Christians who believe in gay marriage can’t pretend Christians who don’t aren’t Christian. Christians who don’t believe in gay marriage can’t pretend Christians who do aren’t Christian. Do you even know what defines someone as a Christian? You should invest in a dictionary, kid.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

A practicing Christian has an OBLIGATION to reject sin, so does the church. When you EMBRACE sin, as you are suggesting, the church becomes a CULT…

Those pedophiles who infiltrated the Catholic church posed as Christians…I suppose you think they are…(according to your perverted, ignorance-based definition)…

At any rate: I cannot tell you if you are a Christian or not…but I can leave your Cult when you willfully wallow in sin…

You cannot FORCE Christians to accept your unholy, immoral lifestyles as Christian…That is ludicrous…

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:54 pm

I agree, the Churches can/should decide for themselves. They typically follow the support of the people (much like government) and more specifically the money, with few exceptions.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 8:03 pm

The MONEY comes from THE PEOPLE…

It’s not for the Gay Lobby to plunder after they have sullied themselves, and tried to compromise the Christianity of the church…

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Yes, it does come from the people. Please allow me to give you a great example of how they exploit the poor by “giving on faith.”

Large televised church, multiple services. A Male and Female head of Church. Thousands of people. I sat. I listened. I desperately wanted something to cling to, some vine of sturdiness. Both Preachers, wore clothing more expensive than the car I was driving.

Long sermon, short. It was about giving on faith. How the church started small and grew against all odds.

Initially, according to them, they didn’t know how they were going to make their monthly payment. However, god put it on someone else’s heart. There was a bucket at the alter and after the initial poor spiel about how they did not have money, someone from the benches walked down and place $1 in a bucket. The next thing you know, the buckets were overflowing and they money to continue their good deeds.

Without taking a breath, the story continued to reminiscence about how the church started from nothing and now did so much good, and (gasp) look, right there on the alter were strategically placed cones, and someone had dropped a $ based on faith.

To this day, I ponder how those in rich suits driving Cadillacs, can sleep at night with the knowledge they took money from some who could barely feed themselves, based on faith.

I don’t feel so much pity for the faithful as I do those two standing up there, high on their perch, promising a return on investment, while they abused their position of goodness.

There are none so blind... March 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

“A practicing Christian has an OBLIGATION to reject sin, so does the church.”

That’s funny. I wonder if there’s any biblical evidence that Jesus embraced sinners.

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.

When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Matthew 9: 9-11

WWJD, indeed.

GrandTango March 26, 2015 at 11:11 am

‘REPENT and SIN NO MORE’…he did not say let me embrace the sin, and corrupt my Father’s House, with it…

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm

GT, look at history, religion too has evolved.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Religion may have, but Christ has not….

Mary March 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Really, and who filed this law suit?

Read more type less March 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

“The uber-liberal national Episcopal Church (TEC)”…right there in the first paragraph. HTH

Mary March 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Wrong! The local Diocese filed the law suit, asking the court to find they could leave the church and take the property with them. The National Church, was the defendant. Don’t believe what you read or are told by the right wing media.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 3:53 pm

What “right wing media” would that be?

Mary March 25, 2015 at 3:56 pm

This right wing media. But it applies to all right wing media.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 3:59 pm

You could probably list all of the “right wing media” on a 3×5 card writing with a magic marker and still only use one side.

But as for your argument that “they started it”, what would you expect, the national church wanted you toss them out of their facilities.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 4:04 pm

First, that never happened. Second, who is them? Do you even understand the position of the Church or the facts of this case?

Get Out Your Markers! March 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Just off the top of my head: Fox News, HotAir, Breitbart, TheBlaze, Red State, Infowars, Prison Planet, WSJ, National Review, Weekly Standard, Pajamas Media, Drudge Report, WaPo, Townhall, Cato, FreedomWorks, Tea Party Express, News Busters, NY Post, Reason, WorldNetDaily, NetRightDaily, Americans for Limited Government, Heritage Foundation, Project Veritas. That’s exlcuding talk radio: Rush Limbaugh, Neil Boortz, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Alex Jones. Still just off the top of my head.

Considering they get all their material from a handful of think tanks though your 3×5 card probably would fit the sources of most of right wing propaganda.

The Colonel March 25, 2015 at 5:01 pm

So if I were to list “left wing media” I could list MSNBC and then all the idiots who work there and then CNN and all their idiot taking heads?

O’Reilly and Hannity are at Fox, Alex Jones is Infowars. Drudge just links stories, he hasn’t reported anything in years. Talk Radio is the one place where the “right wing media” does have the clear lead – mostly because the “left wing” is boring when they’re not being hyperbolic.

Tom March 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Whats your point? You asked what right wing media, and you were provided with numerous answers. There is a ton of right wing media out there.

The Colonel March 26, 2015 at 2:22 pm

I was referring to the “right wing media” reporting on this issue – it’s almost non-exsistent

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 3:09 pm

It’s a case generated by the immoral and the Greedy…That’s the national church…and that’s the bottom line…

Roberto March 27, 2015 at 3:58 am

The liberal national church filed the suit.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Maybe should create our own church? What are the requirements save religious beliefs and get tax breaks.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 5:51 pm

That is what Lawrence did. I have a church I don’t need to create my own church.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Yes and the Catholics had a Church, but King Henry wasn’t able to get a divorce, thus protestants were born with The Church Of England. It worked for him?

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I mean, he did have to behead a few people because they didn’t really agree with his religious views, but then again so did Bloody Mary on the opposite side. For what?

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Interesting how religion evolves over time, yet it takes a lot of blood and guts. Someone doesn’t like this church or that one, first they try to change it and if/when that fails, they create their own.

At the end of the season, it becomes a congregation of like minded people based on common shared goals and beliefs. Then as time moves forward, they take sides, choosing the lesser of evils. Hence, a religious umbrella is re-born.

Soft Sigh from Hell March 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

“Kill All! Kill All! God will know his own!” — the old days.

Christian internecine disputes sure have gotten wimpy.

Soft Sigh from Hell March 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm Reply
Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

I am not sure if that is more interesting or more of the same:

“After a season of depression and the ending of the Cherokee War, Jacob Weber became obsessed with the idea that he was the Deity. He began to put aside the teachings of the Bible and preach out of his own spirit.”

Soft Sight from Hell March 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm

“He began to put aside the teachings of the Bible and preach out of his own spirit.””

Pretty common this last century or so.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:52 pm

It is also common throughout history.

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I confess, it is interesting:

““In order to put a stop to this Goil, I thought it necessary that one, the Chief, should suffer, and as Public Justice is thereby satisfied for the blood of Murder, and as Hannah Wieber, John Geiger and Jacob Burghart each with numerous Families, bear the character of being long known, orderly and industrious to recommend them as Objects worthy His Majesty’s most gracious Pardon. I must further take the liberty of representing to you, that as they are very poor, they have no Friend but your Compassion to solicit for their Pardon, no money to defray the expense of issuing this Act of Royal Grace through the usual Channel particular persons, and stand no chance of receiving this Benefit, if they shall fortunately be thought worthy of it, but by being inserted in some General Pardon.

“I have the Honor to to be with the greatest respect, Sir,”

Mary Quite Contrary March 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

The reason they are wimpy, few can answer basic history questions. How was religion formed? Why different denomination? What is the oldest protestant religion? Why were other religions formed?

Until people understand religion, it’s close connections with power, it’s close connections with history, all conversations are wimpy.

Where did religion come from?

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm

The immoral left – who practice the religion of liberalism – is imposing its unholy war on Christians. No time to be spineless.


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